Derrick Williams (left) and Thomas Rochowicz will assume leadership of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College on April 30. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
The election was also a victory for a new on-line voting system implemented at Boston College this semester. Voter participation in the election was approximately 225 percent higher than in the 2002 election, a factor the new administration cited as important to its success.
"I think it really told us we had to expand our reach," said Williams, a political science major from Little Rock, Ark. "It definitely changed voting for this year."
Along with building a new cabinet and formalizing plans for the coming year, Williams and Rochowicz face the task of managing a newly restructured UGBC. Earlier this year the Senate was dissolved and in its place will be 20 elected legislative directors who will serve as de facto cabinet members.
"It's going to be very interesting because it's something new," said Williams. "We're aware that it's going to be a little rocky at first.
"What's going to be important is the tone. We have to bring everyone together and remind them we're a team."
Williams, whose future plans include law school and a career in public service, worked in the 2001-2002 Amanda Jack-Richie Moriarty cabinet and, in that capacity, made numerous presentations to the Board of Trustees and University vice presidents. He also serves as president of the Black Student Forum.
Rochowicz, a philosophy and history major from Reading, Pa., serves as a cabinet member in the current UGBC administration of Adam Baker and Orville Thomas. He has been involved in student politics since grade school.
The idea of bringing people together will also be a big part of the administration's work, said Williams.
"Our big focus is diversity and unity and we understand that it's not something that can be achieved in one year but it's something we can take concrete steps toward," he said.
"There's only so much one administration can do," said Rochowicz. "But UGBC can work as a lobbyist for the things it believes in."
Williams said his administration will advocate hiring more AHANA faculty and also seek ways of fostering more interaction between students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. The newly elected leaders also stressed the need to improve communication among students, faculty and administrators.
"I really hope we are able to open avenues of dialogue at BC," said Williams. "We need to sit down and talk more. That's what college is about."
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